I can’t remember how or where I discovered her work. Probably at the Gorky show at the Philly Museum last fall? Not sure. I jotted her name down in my cel phone notepad–and then forgot to look in said notebook for a few weeks.
Now that I’ve Googled her: how did I make it through numerous art history classes on mid-20th-century art and NOT come across her name before? She was less a mosaic artist than an artist who chose mosaic as her medium. The American-born talent, who trained in the Paris atelier of Boris Anrep, modernized the ancient art form by treating surfaces like a canvas, embedding found objects in a cement base. She was also a member of the 40s/50s New York Ab-Ex scene: a close friend of Gorky and Rothko,she showed at Stable Gallery, which also represented Joseph Cornell, Joan Mitchell, and Cy Twombly.
Curious for more?
- For a bio, click over to the Anita Shapolsky Gallery here.
- Or to Levis Fine Art here.
- Visit the Smithsonian to read her papers, including her correspondence with Arshille Gorky’s wife!
- More images on Artnet.
- Article on her contributions to the Nebraska State Capitol (she was one of four artists who contributed mosaic murals) here.
- Used copies of “The Mosaics of Jeanne Reynal” can be found online.
- Reportedly has pieces in the collections at MoMA and SFMoMA, although all I could find online where paintings that she donated. Need to do more digging.
Although she seems to have primarily embraced abstraction (see above), her more figurative work–like this 1975 rendering of Martha Graham–is similarly delightful!
A Gorky she donated to the SFMoMA; her work has a similar sense of coloration and painterliness:
If you have any more info on her, please leave a comment!